Novelist, poet and short story writer Herman Melville was born on August 1st 1819. 2 centuries later, Friends of the Berkshire Athenaeum will be holding a series of celebrations to celebrate this milestone in history. His classic novel, "Moby Dick" was written in the Berkshires at his Arrowhead farm in Pittsfield during the winter of 1850.

Ironically, when the book was first published, it was deemed a colossal failure, but when the 20th century arrived, Melville's novel enjoyed a boost in popularity with positive influence to the arts in all genres and there were many adaptations of this famous story on the silver screen and here is a chance to see for yourself how Melville's characters were brought to life in the cinema.

The 1st screening will take you back to the silent era of moving pictures, 1925 to be exact as John Barrymore starred as Captain Ahab in "The Sea Beast" as the film delves into the secret early history of this famous character who went on a battle with a mammoth whale that ruled the seven seas. You can catch this vintage piece of cinematic magic on Thursday, January 17th. Showtime is at 6;30 pm.

The following week will showcase assorted films that also include two Walt Disney cartoons, "The Whalers", "Willy The Whale Who Sang Opera" starring the famed tenor, Nelson Eddy and a 2003 one man play "MobyDick" starring Jack Aranson. This triple feature also begins at 6:30 pm on Thursday, January 24th.

We'll keep you posted on future events commemorating the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville's birthday. For more information, log on here or call (413) 499-9480. The Berkshire Athenaeum is located at 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield.